Judgment, Prejudice and a Better Tomorrow

kingA rally was held in Washington over the weekend at the Lincoln Memorial. It was about restoring honor and faith in our society, things most probably would agree we need more of.

But it was organized by Glenn Beck, so the 500,000 “white people” who attended were automatically branded as racists by those seeking to discredit the Tea Party movement (though this was not a political event).

In case you don’t know who he is, Glenn Beck is a libertarian Fox News talk show host who sees progressive conspiracies under every rock and advocates a return to principles like faith, hope and charity upon which our nation was founded.

He is not without his critics. His emotional histrionics can turn off all but the most ardent followers. His rants against some of the people the President has surrounded himself with and the practices of a non-responsive, runaway government make him Public Enemy #1 to left-leaning administration supporters. And when he points out reverse racism or the efforts of some (but perhaps not others) to use race to gain an upper hand in their political battles, they are ready to hang him in effigy.

This article isn’t about Beck, however. It’s about all the talking heads who have been trotted out to sing their chorus decrying the fact that the white audience was racist.

Racist because they’re white? Come on. Is that what it has come to, that because you’re white and you stand up for what you believe in, you must be racist?

Now, racism has been a problem in our country for a long time. And it cuts both ways — or should I say, all ways. Whites. Blacks. Hispanics. Asians. Native Americans. There’s been a lot of hate to go around.

Racial epithets, along with other slurs on aspects of our identities remain favored ways to slander people simply by their association with groups that share common characteristics.

And when it happens to most of us, the scars of our old hurts are touched, and we once again feel the pain that comes when others separate themselves from us through racism, judgment, prejudice, or whatever other form it’s wielded.

Sometimes those pains are activated so quickly that we accept their challenge and are even ready to fight.

Well, I’ll let you in on a secret.

It happened to me. Their accusations of racism against a well-behaved crowd that happened to be mostly white struck a chord within me, too. My knee jerk reaction was to get angry; somehow I allowed their wrongful judgment to affect me, to take it personally, even though I fully understand the talking heads were using the race card to stir up anger and fear in the people and use it to rally their base for the upcoming election.

I’m not sure why I got so mad. Maybe it’s because I’m white (or so my skin color is called these days, though it’s really more of a tan that used to be called flesh color, ignoring the fact that all flesh was not the same color). I was pissed off — livid, to be exact — at seeing a group who did nothing racist branded such just because the pundits didn’t like the person who organized the rally. And I wanted to tell them a thing or two in not so friendly terms. Considering how hot I was, it’s a good thing they were on the TV and not in my living room saying those things.

Obviously I don’t like to be judged. And when they judged these people who were standing up for values I believe in, like bringing honor and integrity back and living our highest attributes, I felt they were judging me, too.

If blacks or Hispanics or Asians have the right to assemble and state their beliefs, why don’t Caucasians? These other groups don’t like to be stereotyped or subjected to generalizations. They don’t like to be lumped into a single group and judged pro or con simply by their heritage.

Neither do whites, whether they were present at the rally or not. Yet it seems the current effort of many is to make those of us who happen to be white feel guilty because of the color of our skin, or the sins of generations past.

Race baiting is just another form of racism, where the color of our skin or the content of our character is judged negatively in order to gain advantage.

Admittedly, those who look for it — especially the political reactionaries who only see things through such narrow prisms — will probably find it, even when it isn’t there. It’s far too easy to paint anyone who sees things differently than we do with such disparaging remarks. For when we do, we dehumanize them and don’t have to give their views credence.

We all know that racism is an ugly beast that brings out the worst in us. And when it rears its head, pent up emotions in both hater and hatee alike can quickly erupt into open conflict.

Most of us would like to think we’re immune from its influence. But its scars still live within the American psyche and bleed over into the lives of individuals who would otherwise never even consider such thoughts. Incidents like those filling our screens are allowing us to see we haven’t left them behind yet.

If we’re to move into the higher vibrations needed to build a new world, somehow we’ve got to find a way to quit judging, to quit stereotyping, to quit spewing our pent-up frustrations and prejudices however acquired — especially those involving race on both sides of the equation.

I don’t know any way to do this than to quit pointing out the many differences and things we use to keep ourselves apart. We’re all people, we’re all human beings with hopes and dreams and aspirations for ourselves and our families — and hopefully the rest who share this world with us.

Lord knows that race is one of those divisive elements, and the election of President Obama has brought long-buried racial tensions out in the open once again. The question is whether we will let them go once and for all, or allow them to keep festering inside us.

Isn’t it time we begin moving away from our divisions of race, ethnicity, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender, class, money, career, and even political affiliation? After all, we’re supposedly evolving into higher expressions of what humans used to be. Can’t we leave these things behind as well?

The time has come for us to grow into a new title — galactic humans — and begin seeing this human race as a single species here to work through these separations and come together to build the kind of world that can serve us all.

Why galactic? Because if there is life in the heavens as many of us believe, I doubt whether we’ll be permitted to take our place at the table of advanced cosmic civilizations until we can curb our baser ways and hold higher vibrations like love, light, peace and joy without all the disruptive fluctuations that now lead us into conflict.

Yes, I was angry tonight. They tweaked something in me that I didn’t even know was there. And when they did, it set off old patterns of self-defense that dragged me back down into the dense vibrations I’ve worked so hard to move beyond.

It isn’t easy to shift out of the old ways and into new ones that will better take us where we want to go. And there are many who don’t want us to go. They like it living in this world of struggle and conflict, and have learned to use it to their best advantage.

I may not be able to stop them from engaging in race baiting or other forms of judgment designed to steal my serenity. But I can do a better job of recognizing that I still carry within me those hot buttons that apparently can be so easily pushed that I can be dragged down into the mire with them.

In hindsight, I realize their race-baiting efforts did me a favor. I truly want peace in my time and I aspire to be more, so I am grateful for their part in allowing me to recognize I still have those old densities within me.

But at the time, I wasn’t so grateful. I was downright offended.

No, I don’t make excuses for being white, nor do I brandish it about as a badge showing I’m better than anyone else. I’m not. I have my good points, and other people have theirs. And we both have our bad ones, too — regardless of the color of our skin.

I try to meet everyone on their own terms, free of racial or other judgments. But I know now that when I’m judged, I don’t like it and want to fight back. And automatically slip into old patterns of self-defense and counter-attack that served me so well in the past. Just as I suspect that many of you do, too, regardless of the color of your skin.

There will continue to be those who harbor hatred within them for other races. For their awakening I pray.

But there are many more who are trying to move beyond such vibrations but who may still be pulled off course by judgments and stereotypes, or in other cases racial or ethnic slurs. And when they are, all their hard work will be in vain, at least for that moment when they succumb to the button-pushing and are thrown off their game.

I hope for all our sakes we can learn to take a step back from these insensitivities to overlook our differences and truly forgive those who trespass against us.

They know not what they do. And when we react that way, we usually don’t, either.

I pray that one day we will.


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John Dennison

John Dennison

Editor-in-Chief at PeaceOptions.com
John is a recovering lawyer, spiritual teacher and sepsis survivor. He speaks for peace through knowing yourself and changing your world. His book, "Whispers in the Silence - Living by the Light of Your Soul," is a guide to listen to your inner voice.

John offers a free report, "5 Minutes That Can Change Your World," at http://bit.ly/1QwNenb, and provides coaching and guidance to awakening souls.
John Dennison

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John is a recovering lawyer, spiritual teacher and sepsis survivor. He speaks for peace through knowing yourself and changing your world. His book, "Whispers in the Silence - Living by the Light of Your Soul," is a guide to listen to your inner voice. John offers a free report, "5 Minutes That Can Change Your World," at http://bit.ly/1QwNenb, and provides coaching and guidance to awakening souls.